Tech student embarks on cross-country bike ride

Daniel Rikli

One Tech student is gearing up for the ride of a lifetime. 

Daniel Rikli is a graduate assistant in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, an avid cycler and a member of Bike & Build’s 2019 campaign across the Central United States – starting in Yorktown, Virginia, and ending in Portland, Oregon. 

“Bike & Build is an organization that raises money and awareness for the affordable housing community,” Rikli said. “It’s similar to the Habitat for Humanity.”

Through service-oriented cycling trips, Bike & Build riders have helped with the construction, renovation and refurbishment of over 3,300 homes across the country, according to  

Rikli said the independent organization encourages young adults to pursue a life within the “volunteer community.”  

“Over the course of two and a half months, we will have biked over 4,000 miles. We’re going to stop in communities that have already agreed to house and feed us, and then we’ll help construct the houses of Bike & Build’s grant recipients,” Rikli said.  

Rikli said the route is scheduled to take his group through the Blue Ridge Mountians, the Rocky Mountains – including Yellowstone National Park and the Tetons – and Glacier National Park.

“The touristy spots aren’t the focus of the trip, but I do think they help incentivize some of the volunteers,” Rikli said.

Rikli is set to graduate in May, so this ride is expected to be his “last adventure before entering the real world.”

“It’s a great way to combine my love of biking, my love of the outdoors, my love of volunteering and my love of trave, and wrap it all up into one great big summer adventure,” Rikli said. 

A trip of this extent doesn’t come without a price. The minimum fundraising goal for each biker is $5,000. These funds pay for grants, support vehicles and future young adult service programs.

“I’m not too worried about the physical side of it,” Rikli said. “I’m the most nervous about meeting my fundraising goal or what I’m going to do with my dog for 75 days. He’s a handful.” 

If you would like to support Daniel’s summer of service, you can donate at